FARGO — While the Fargo Fire Department revealed the cause of a fire that ripped through a senior care center last month.
The cause of the fire at Elim Rehab & Care Center on Jan. 23 was an overheated electrical component in an attic space above a child care classroom, according to a fire department news release.
The space had been built with combustible materials and did not have sprinklers or noncombustible insulation, the fire department said.
Other attic areas of the building, which has several kinds of roof construction, were equipped with sprinklers.
No one inside the center was hurt, but two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. The fire displaced 111 senior residents and 32 children in a preschool and daycare there.
Many of the residents — 42 in all — were transferred to Eventide on Eighth in Moorhead.
Other Elim residents have been relocated to Eventide Fargo, Villa Maria, The Meadows, Bethany, and other nursing homes in Fargo, Wahpeton, Mayville, Valley City and Halstad, Minn.
The Elim Children’s Center program has been moved to the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley in Fargo.
Meantime, Elim residents have been reclaiming belongings they had to leave behind in the fire.
However, only about 10% of those belongings may be salvageable due to fire, smoke or water damage, said Renee Muhonen, Elim campus administrator.
The Elim facility is expected to be closed for up to a year or longer, according to Elim’s parent company, Cassia. About 170 employees were laid off due to the fire but some have been hired at other care centers in the area.
Officials said Eventide has hired between 50 and 60 Elim employees between all of its campuses in the F-M area.